Vocalist, guitarist, pianist and songwriter Wendell Holmes of The Holmes Brothers died at his home Friday (June 19) from complications due to pulmonary hypertension. He was 71.
The Holmes Brothers released 12 studio albums of soul/blues music between 1990 and 2014. Wendell retired from touring earlier this year when he was first diagnosed; Holmes Brothers drummer Willie “Popsy” Dixon died on January 9, 2015 of complications from cancer. Brother and bassist Sherman Holmes continues to carry on The Holmes Brothers legacy with The Sherman Holmes Projec, featuring Brooks Long and Eric Kennedy, according to information provided by Holmes’ publicist.
In September 2014, The Holmes Brothers were honored with a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the United States bestows upon its folk and traditional artists, among other honors throughout their career.
Holmes is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters Felicia and Mia; brothers Sherman and Milton; and three grandsons.